File:  [NetBSD Developer Wiki] / wikisrc / ports / sandpoint / instnh23x.mdwn
Revision 1.5: download - view: text, annotated - select for diffs
Sat Sep 5 19:18:06 2015 UTC (6 years, 9 months ago) by phx
Branches: MAIN
CVS tags: HEAD
Fix dummy.img.gz path.


This document describes in depth how to prepare your NH-230/231 NAS for
installing NetBSD/sandpoint. Models based on the NH-230 have an ITE PATA
controller while those based on the NH-231 have a SiliconImage SataLink
SATA controller. The following models are known to be compatible:

-   Allnet 6250 (PATA)
-   Allnet 6260 (SATA)
-   Encore ENNHD-1000 (PATA)
-   Fujitsu-Siemens AMS150 (SATA)
-   Fujitsu-Siemens SBLAN2 (SATA)
-   Lindy NAS Personal Server Premium, IDE (PATA)
-   Lindy NAS Personal Server Premium, SATA (SATA)
-   Longshine LCS-8311 (SATA)
-   Netronix NH-230 (PATA)
-   Netronix NH-231 (SATA)
-   Planex NAS-01G (PATA)
-   SinanPower GigaBit LAN NAS-349 (SATA)
-   Vibe NS-349-S (SATA)

The hardware shown in these instructions is an Allnet 6250.

Accessing the serial interface

We need a serial console to get access to the firmware. Therefore you
have to open the case and connect a serial adapter, which converts the
NH-230/231 TTL levels to RS232 levels. You will also have to make a plug
for the 4-pin serial header on the board.

Locate the serial port

Look out for a 4-pin header, which is labeled `J6` on an Allnet 6250

<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><table>
<tr class="odd">
<td align="left"><strong>Pin number</strong></td>
<td align="left"><strong>Function</strong></td>
<tr class="even">
<td align="left">1</td>
<td align="left">3.3V</td>
<tr class="odd">
<td align="left">2</td>
<td align="left">TXD</td>
<tr class="even">
<td align="left">3</td>
<td align="left">RXD</td>
<tr class="odd">
<td align="left">4</td>
<td align="left">GND</td>
<td align="left"><img src="" alt="Serial port header" /></td>

Connect a serial terminal via a converter

The serial port on the NH-230/231 compatibles is using 3.3V TTL levels,
which have to be converted into regular RS232 levels by a level shifter
circuit. Instructions how to build such a circuit yourself can be found

-   [Serial adapter for 3.3V TTL](

Make sure that the layout of the connector fits to the pinout of the
boards serial header, as shown above.

Another option is to buy such a converter. There are solutions for a
standard RS232 interface and for an USB interface. Look out for:

-   RS232 level shifter / breakout board (MAX3232 based)
-   USB to TLL serial level shifter / breakout board (FT232 based)

Now you can connect with any terminal program to the NH-230/231 serial
console. The easiest approach may be to use NetBSD's `tip(1)` command to
make a direct console connection at 9600bps.

    # tip console

Note that when using a serial connection via USB you may have to make an
entry for `/dev/ttyU0` in `/etc/remote`.

First time installation

<a name="altboot"></a>
The altboot bootloader

The `altboot(8)` utility functions as a bridge between the PPCBoot
firmware and the NetBSD kernel startup environment. NAS firmware often
provides no means to boot a kernel from disk or from the network and
doesn't initialize all hardware correctly. We will also use it to pass a
bootinfo list to the kernel.

The `altboot` boot loader has to be loaded and started using the
NH-230/231 firmware, which is `PPCBoot 2.0.0-A9`.

    PPCBoot 2.0.0-A9 (Feb 13 2006 - 14:56:11)

    CPU:   MPC8241 Revision 1.4 at 266.666 MHz: 16 kB I-Cache 16 kB D-Cache
    Board: Sandpoint 8241 Unity ##Test not implemented yet##
    DRAM:  64 MB
    FLASH: Manufacturer code: 0xEC, Device code: 0xA2 :  4 MB
    In:    serial
    Out:   serial
    Err:   serial
    EPIC: reset is in process ....doneNet:   
    RTL8169S driver v1.5-A4  03-15-2005
    Press space to abort autoboot in 3 second

The functionality of this NH-230/231 PPCBoot version is restricted.
Probably to keep it small and to save space for a Linux kernel and
ramdisk in the 4MB Flash, but also to keep the user from hacking it. It
only allows to overwrite four predefined regions of the flash with
special **load** commands, and the lack of a **cp** command leaves us with
the only option to boot `altboot(8)` as a Linux kernel image through

Getting altboot into RAM

The `altboot` boot loader has to be loaded and started using PPCBoot.
Usually there are three ways to invoke it:

-   **loadb** to load a binary file via serial line in kermit mode
-   **tftpboot** to load a binary file over the network with TFTP protocol
-   start it from the flash memory

The last option is prefered once the installation is completed, but
obviously it is not possible for the first time boot. Fortunately
PPCBoot has set up the network interface, which we can use after
configuring the `ipaddr` and `serverip` environment variables:

_MPC824X &gt; <strong>setenv ipaddr</strong>
_MPC824X &gt; <strong>setenv serverip</strong>
_MPC824X &gt; <strong>savenv</strong>
Saving Environment to Flash...
unProtect FFC00000 ... FFC01FFF
Un-Protected 1 sectors
Erasing Flash...
. done
Erased 1 sectors
Writing to Flash... done
Protected 1 sectors

Once you have set up TFTP and DHCP ([read below](#altboot_install)) you
can download `altboot` into RAM at `0x1000000` like this:

_MPC824X &gt; <strong>tftp 1000000 altboot.bin</strong>
TFTP from server; our IP address is
Filename 'altboot.bin'.
Load address: 0x1000000
Loading: ################
Bytes transferred = 76884 (12c54 hex)

<a name="altboot_install"></a>
Boot the INSTALL kernel with altboot

Now you can use `altboot` to launch the `netbsd-INSTALL` kernel for
installing NetBSD. You may choose to load it with TFTP or from NFS. For TFTP
you have to enable `tftpd(8)` in `/etc/inetd.conf`, and for NFS there is
a documentation at [The Network File
But in both cases you have to set up a DHCP server, which is explained
in the [DHCP Howto]( An
appropriate `dhcpd.conf` entry could look like this:

            host nh-nas {
                    hardware ethernet 00:08:54:xx:xx:xx;
                    option root-path "/export/nh-nas/root";

The `root-path` option is only needed when using NFS and should match
your exported NFS directory. Uncompress `netbsd-INSTALL.gz` from the
NetBSD/sandpoint distribution and copy it into the NFS or TFTP directory.
Then start the DHCP, NFS or TFTP server and boot the installation kernel
from the firmware either with

_MPC824X &gt; <strong>go 1000000 tftp:netbsd-INSTALL</strong>

or from NFS:

_MPC824X &gt; <strong>go 1000000 nfs:netbsd-INSTALL</strong>

Our bootloader configures the hardware, determines the IP address, loads
the kernel via network and launches it:

    ## Starting application at 0x01000000 ...

    >> NetBSD/sandpoint altboot, revision 1.9 (Thu Apr 26 21:37:17 CEST 2012)
    >> Netronix NH-230/231, cpu 264 MHz, bus 132 MHz, 64MB SDRAM
    channel 0 present
    wd0: <Maxtor 2B020H1> DMA LBA LBA48 19541 MB
    wd0: no disklabel
    MAC address 00:08:54:xx:xx:xx
    Hit any key to enter interactive mode: 0
    loading "netbsd-INSTALL" 5365148+134572=0x53efd0
    entry=0x90000, ssym=0x5ceb48, esym=0x5cefd0
    Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,
        2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
        The NetBSD Foundation, Inc.  All rights reserved.
    Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
        The Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.

    Model: nhnas
    total memory = 65536 KB
    avail memory = 57820 KB
    OpenPIC Version 1.2: Supports 1 CPUs and 26 interrupt sources.
    mainbus0 (root)
    cpu0 at mainbus0: 8245 (Revision 0.4), ID 0 (primary)
    cpu0: HID0 0x90c000<DOZE,DPM,ICE,DCE>, powersave: 1
    cpu0: 264.00 MHz
    eumb0 at mainbus0
    com0 at eumb0 unit 0: ns16550a, working fifo
    com0: console
    com0: interrupting at irq 40
    ociic0 at eumb0
    iic0 at ociic0: I2C bus
    pcf8563rtc0 at iic0 addr 0x51: NXP PCF8563 Real-time Clock
    satmgr0 at eumb0 unit 1: button manager (not supported)
    nhpow0 at mainbus0: NH230/231 gpio board control, version 1
    nhpow0: interrupting at irq 20
    gpio0 at nhpow0: 8 pins
    cfi at mainbus0 not configured
    pci0 at mainbus0 bus 0
    pchb0 at pci0 dev 0 function 0
    pchb0: vendor 0x1057 product 0x0006 (rev. 0x14)
    ohci0 at pci0 dev 14 function 0: vendor 0x1033 product 0x0035 (rev. 0x43)
    ohci0: interrupting at irq 19
    ohci0: OHCI version 1.0
    usb0 at ohci0: USB revision 1.0
    ohci1 at pci0 dev 14 function 1: vendor 0x1033 product 0x0035 (rev. 0x43)
    ohci1: interrupting at irq 19
    ohci1: OHCI version 1.0
    usb1 at ohci1: USB revision 1.0
    ehci0 at pci0 dev 14 function 2: vendor 0x1033 product 0x00e0 (rev. 0x04)
    ehci0: interrupting at irq 19
    ehci0: companion controllers, 3 ports each: ohci0 ohci1
    usb2 at ehci0: USB revision 2.0
    re0 at pci0 dev 15 function 0: RealTek 8169/8110 Gigabit Ethernet (rev. 0x10)
    re0: interrupting at irq 17
    re0: Ethernet address 00:08:54:xx:xx:xx
    rgephy0 at re0 phy 7: RTL8169S/8110S/8211 1000BASE-T media interface, rev. 0
    rgephy0: 10baseT, 10baseT-FDX, 100baseTX, 100baseTX-FDX, 1000baseT, 1000baseT-FDX, auto
    iteide0 at pci0 dev 16 function 0: Integrated Technology Express IDE controller (rev. 0x11)
    iteide0: using irq 18 for native-PCI interrupt
    atabus0 at iteide0 channel 0
    atabus1 at iteide0 channel 1
    biomask 1c000000 netmask 1c000000 ttymask 1c000000
    uhub0 at usb0: vendor 0x1033 OHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
    uhub1 at usb1: vendor 0x1033 OHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 1.00/1.00, addr 1
    uhub2 at usb2: vendor 0x1033 EHCI root hub, class 9/0, rev 2.00/1.00, addr 1
    wd0 at atabus0 drive 0
    wd0: <Maxtor 2B020H1>
    wd0: 19541 MB, 39703 cyl, 16 head, 63 sec, 512 bytes/sect x 40020624 sectors
    boot device: re0
    root on md0a dumps on md0b
    root file system type: ffs
    erase ^H, werase ^W, kill ^U, intr ^C, status ^T
    Terminal type? [vt100]

Just follow the usual procedure to install a NetBSD system.

<img src="//" alt="Sandpoint installation window" /></td>

Post installation steps

After a successful installation you want to make the system boot
standalone when switched on, without the need for a serial console. So
you have to find a way to make your firmware automatically boot
`altboot` and the kernel.

Without a working **cp** command the only way to make your system
automatically boot NetBSD is to replace the Linux kernel on flash by
`altboot.img`, which is our bootloader in PPCBoot image format, faking a
Linux kernel.

When viewing the environment variables with **printenv** you can see that
the `bootcmd` is calling **bootm** to load the Linux kernel. The first
address is the location which we have to overwrite with `altboot.img`.
Here it is `0xffc10000`, which you have to replace in all the following
commands, in case your `bootcmd` differs.

    bootcmd=bootm ffc10000 fff20000

Load `altboot.img` into memory, for example at `0x1000000` again, as
explained [above](#altboot). You might want to backup the Linux kernel
image first. Then execute the following commands to overwrite it with

_MPC824X &gt; <strong>load -k 1000000</strong>
Flash: upgrade Linux kernel in unProtect FFC10000 ... FFD8FFFF
Un-Protected 24 sectors
Erasing Flash...
............. done
Erased 24 sectors
Writing to Flash... done

Additionally you may think about replacing the Linux RAM disk image at
the second address (`0xfff20000` in the example above) by an empty
PPCBoot image, like [this](
one (do not forget to uncompress it with `gunzip(1)`). Or use **mkubootimage**
to make your own dummy. Write it to flash as shown below. This will speed up
the boot process, but is not really required.

_MPC824X &gt; <strong>tftp 1000000 dummy.img</strong>
RTL8169#0 configured
ARP broadcast 1
TFTP from server; our IP address is
Filename 'dummy.img'.
Load address: 0x1000000
Loading: #
Bytes transferred = 64 (40 hex)
_MPC824X &gt; <strong>load -f 1000000</strong>
Flash: upgrade rootfs in unProtect FFF20000 ... FFFFFFFF
Un-Protected 14 sectors
Erasing Flash...
......... done
Erased 14 sectors
Writing to Flash... done

Have fun with your mini NetBSD server!

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